If you thought the NFL Playoffs were set – at least on the AFC side of things – think again. The Titans are having something of a resurgence lately and it’s very possible they could sneak their way into the postseason. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is on fire. Yes, the Titans are currently in seventh place, but just another win or two could push them toward that coveted sixth seed. They’ve got a tough three-game stretch ahead of them, but anything is possible. (And the way they’ve been playing, it looks mighty probable.) Here’s how Tannehill and the Titans are fighting their way toward a spot in the NFL Playoffs.
Shop Cheap Tennessee Titans Tickets! They’re always authentic and you’ll always receive them on time!
Tannehill is a Difference-Maker
These aren’t Marcus Mariota’s Titans. After the former starting QB was benched in Week 7, the Titans’ offense began flourishing. Ryan Tannehill has hoisted this team up and carried them into the top 10 in NFL power rankings.
Tannehill is now 6-1 in games started for Tennessee and he’s playing at an MVP level. In those seven starts, he’s racked up 15 touchdown passes. And in three consecutive games, Tannehill has a passer rating of at least 130 with a 75% completion rate. (Aaron Rodgers is the only other QB who can claim that stat.) He’s throwing long and difficult passes and doing it successfully. In fact, if you’re simply looking at passer rating, at 118.5, Tannehill is the best quarterback in the NFL right now.
In the Titans’ 42-21 win against the Raiders on Sunday, Tannehill threw 391 yards for three TDs. (No, if there were any doubts, Mariota isn’t coming back.) With Tannehill at the helm, it feels like the Titans are peaking at just the right time. They’re certainly making waves this month, and they could still win the AFC South. According to NFL.com, the Titans now have a 48.5% chance of winning their division and a 69.6% chance of making the playoffs.
It’s looking like the guy who was meant to be a backup might just end up being a franchise quarterback. Before Tannehill took over this season, the Titans were 2-4 with just one touchdown in 10 quarters of play. Now, in seven games with Tannehill at quarterback, they’ve got 27 touchdowns.
Shop Cheap NFL Tickets! Titans aren’t your team? No problem, we’ve got tickets to all the NFL games this season!
Derrick Henry, AJ Brown… and the Titans’ Defense
Running back Derrick Henry is killing it on the field as well. The former Alabama All-American is a workhorse – if the Titans are looking to run the ball, he’s their man. Henry has basically carried the offensive load in three out of their last four games. The man has 1,243 yards rushing and four straight games with more than 100 yards each. He’s also averaging five yards per carry. Despite a recent hamstring issue which has caused him to sit out at practice, Henry says nothing is going to stop him: “My leg’s going to have to be half-way off for me to stop, so I’m going to go out there and help my team win games and play through it.”
AJ Brown just happens to be great supporting staff as well. Brown, a rookie wide receiver, leads the team with six touchdown catches and 39 catches for 779 yards. And he’s got an apparent connection with Tannehill that could prove incredibly valuable in these final three games. During their game against the Raiders, Brown had five catches for a career-high 153 yards. Some might call it “chemistry.”
The team as a whole is setting franchise records with three games of 40 points or more for the first time since 1962. And only the hottest team in the league, the Baltimore Ravens, have scored more points in the last eight weeks.
Even the Titans defense is scoring. They’ve managed a TD of their own three times this season so far. Most recently, Jayon Brown returned a fumble 46 yards for a touchdown against the Raiders. According to Brown, “We’re all feeding off each other. Special teams is feeding off defense, and the defense is feeding off the offense. It’s just real good to see all three phases clicking right now. We’re just playing real good complementary football, and it’s working for us.”
Two out of the Titans’ last three regular-season games will be against division rivals, the Houston Texans. And to be honest, the 8-5 Texans haven’t looked great lately – well, since that win over the Patriots anyway. Last weekend, they lost to the lowly Denver Broncos in disastrous fashion, and now they could be missing a key player in Will Fuller. The 8-5 Titans, on the other hand, have been playing some of their best football yet, and they now have a real chance to sweep the Texans if they play their cards right! Their other option? Beat the New Orleans Saints. Let’s see what happens!